The geopolitics of nations can make or break a state if its policies are complacent and incoherent. Complacency for countries either surrounded or bordering hostile conditions has seen heightened military tensions and, in some instances, military invasions.

Complacency can be more dangerous than appeasement, as a state that assumes it will never suffer from future wars is caught the most off-guard.

What is Complacency?

Complacency is defined as self-satisfaction, especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies. In foreign policy, countries that are often related to the looming crisis’ around them could face perilous situations from existential threats around them.

Whereas appeasement is the act of placating someone or something regarding foreign policy, complacency can be even more dangerous as an incompetent head of state or nation can easily be caught off guard by a geopolitical adversary.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken looks at South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-Yong with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, February 12, 2022 (AP via Japan Forward). Source:

Israel and the Yom Kippur War

The Six-Day War was one of modern warfare’s most decisive military victories. Quadrupling the size of their nation, Israel had gained a strategic and symbolic foothold in the West Bank, Golan Heights, and the Sinai Peninsula.

Nevertheless, the Israeli government became highly relaxed and complacent as they thought the 1967 war killed the will of its Arab neighbors that the country would soon regret.

Egypt, which had lost the Suez Canal to Israel, went through a national embarrassment and made plans with Syria and other Arab and Communist expeditionary units to surprise the Israelis. The attack aimed to recapture territory and attempt a push into Israel.